Many are drawn to Scotland for its quality of life, spectacular scenery, fresh air and open spaces, an extensive choice of walking trails, rich culture and friendly people.
Recognised as a very safe country to live in, and attracted by its inclusive community, exceptional education system and good medical facilities, many are moving to Scotland. In fact, according to Rightmove’s house price index for June 2022, house sales across Scotland were up 7.8% on the previous year.
In this edition of our series looking at ‘The best places to live in Scotland’, we invite you to join us as we take a tour of 2 of the top 10 Scottish cities, namely Edinburgh and Glasgow, and give some insight into where to live, according to your preferred lifestyle. We also provide some advice to help make sure your move is seamless and stress free.
We hope you find this insightful – and don’t forget to look out for future articles in Doree Bonner’s ‘The best places to live in Scotland’ series!
A wonderfully vibrant and livable city, Edinburgh, offers something for everyone. With world class events, such as and Hogmanay, one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in Europe, and the Fringe Festival, this city is steeped in history and culture and offers an array of restaurants and bars, a buzzing nightlife, spectacular walks and scenery, world class educational facilities, and more.
If you are thinking of moving to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, here are some neighbourhoods to consider:
1. West End
If you want to live centrally, Edinburgh’s West End is a good choice. Tucked away just behind Shandwick Place, the West End Village is one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems. Here, you will find many hotels, restaurants, shops, offices and arts venues, including the Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and the five star Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian Hotel.
Covering much of the New Town, which was built in stages between 1767 and around 1850, the area offers many well-maintained Georgian houses. The streets around William Street and Stafford Street within the village present a bohemian feel and, together with the stylish boutiques and some popular pubs and bars, this really is a vibrant part of Edinburgh to live.
The area is also very well connected, with easy access to train stations, including Haymarket Station, many bus routes, and a tramline which reaches eastwards to the city centre, or out west as far as the Edinburgh airport.
Served by the South Gyle train station, and with regular direct trains to Edinburgh Waverley, this family-friendly suburb of Edinburgh, is about four miles from Edinburgh city centre and a desirable location to live. There is a good choice of property styles available in the residential area of Corstorphine, including Victorian family villas and traditional bungalows, as well as more modern flats.
Lined with shops and restaurants, the busy main street of Corstorphine offers a good range of dining and shopping choices, including the Gyle Shopping Centre.
Hillwood Park, Corstorphine Hill, behind the Edinburgh Zoo, offers sprawling urban green spaces and woodland walks. Corstorphine Hill also offers superb views looking out over the city and across the Forth.
In keeping with the family friendly feel, Corstophine has a wide range of schools to choose from, including Craigmount High School and St Augustine’s High, Corstorphine Primary School and St Andrew’s Fox Covert RC, as well as Peek-a-boo Nursery School.
Colloquially known as the Southside, and often considered one the best places to live in Edinburgh, Newington is a large area in the south of Edinburgh.
The Victorian architecture and the many notable bars and shops, including the Edinburgh Bargain Stores, Kalpna Restaurant and The Southern Bar, give this residential area a charming and relaxing feel.
Vibrant and leafy, and just a 20 minutes’ walk from the Edinburgh Royal Mile, it’s easy to see why so many people love to live in Newington.
Glasgow has seen a huge surge in popularity amongst both buyers and renters in recent years. One of Scotland’s largest cities, Glasgow found itself in fifth place in last year’s Rightmove most searched-for places to live in the UK list, ahead of Edinburgh which was placed in ninth spot.
If you are thinking of moving to Scotland’s second largest city, Glasgow, here are some neighbourhoods to consider:
In 2021, the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide named the neighbourhood of Dennistoun as one of Scotland’s best places to live, offering the “right balance of gritty and gentrified, with gallus residents and green spaces”. Adding to this, in 2020 this east end of Glasgow ‘hood was named eighth coolest in the world in Time Out’s annual survey.
With a thriving property market, central location just a mile’s walk to George Square, many bars and restaurants, several train stations, including Alexandra Parade, Duke Street and Bellgrove, green areas including Alexandra Park just to the north, beautiful Victorian terraces and villas, and excellent healthcare facilities it’s no wonder Dennistoun is a popular location for students, professionals and retirees alike.
2. Merchant City
A popular choice for younger people is Merchant City in Glasgow’s city centre. This vibrant neighbourhood with varying culture offers a wide range of shops, bars and restaurants. It also offers excellent educational facilities including the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow College Campus, and it is home to Glasgow’s International Financial Services District.
Merchant City is one of Glasgow’s oldest quarters dating back to the 1750s.
Known for its ever-changing developments, and with a combination of old brick houses and modern new flats, this area offers some very good investment opportunities in Glasgow, making it very desirable for homeowners.
Located in Glasgow’s vibrant West End, Hillhead is a fashionable and impressive neighbourhood. Located between the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, featuring the must-see Kibble Palace, and Kelvingrove Park, this area is rich with iconic buildings. This includes George Square, the Glasgow Central railway station, the Riverside Museum and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
While this area is very built up, there are also many green spaces for those who enjoy a more outdoors lifestyle. Kelvingrove Park is located on the River Kelvin. If you’ve seen the series, you might recognise this park in Outlander, Season 3 episode, ‘Surrender’.
While the Hillhead property market has seen a steep increase in recent years, this growth is now slowing. Transport links are good in this area. Hillhead has its own train station and a number of other nearby stations too. Running, walking and cycling routes are also plentiful in this residential area of Glasgow.
While moving to Scotland is very exciting, there is much to consider. Preparation is key, so you may wish to read our guide to moving to Scotland. The you need to choose the best moving company for you to ensure a smooth and seamless move journey.
As one of the UK’s leaders in removals and storage, Doree Bonner has been moving households and businesses to and within Scotland for many years, so we know what it takes to make your move a successful one.
Learn more about our moving in the UK services and get a free online quote. You can also contact a member of our Doree Bonner team 24/7 for advice and information relating to your specific requirements when moving to Scotland or relocating within Scotland.
We look forward to hearing from you and to supporting you on your journey. And don’t forget to look out for the next article in our ‘The best places to live in Scotland’ series, where we review Aberdeen and Dundee, and share our tips and advice on the best places for you to live in Scotland.